Femicide in North America

Again.

George Sodini seethed with anger and frustration toward women. He couldn’t understand why they ignored him, despite his best efforts to look nice.

…He went to the sprawling L.A. Fitness Club in this Pittsburgh suburb, turned out the lights on a dance-aerobics class filled with women, and opened fire with three guns, letting loose with a fusillade of at least 36 bullets.

And again and again.

Mass murderers. Serial killers. Drug cartel members. Domestic abusers. Rapists.

They so often choose their victims based on gender. Yet we don’t seem to ever have a conversation, as a society, that gets toward explaining this. We never ask ourselves, “Why is it so often that men kill women, and so infrequently the reverse?”

Men often kill men as well. As a matter of fact, man-on-man murders make up almost two thirds of all murder in the USA. Man-on-woman murders make up a quarter of all murder. Women commit 12% of murders, though they make up slightly more than half of the US population.

But how often do we find, after a man or many men are killed by a male murderer, diaries and web posts and suicide notes filled with hatred towards men? How often do they blame men for all their troubles, and speak of men with burning misandrist hatred? How often do they desire to “put men in their place”?

That’s not why men get murdered. But it is why women get murdered. So what are we going to do about it?

If we ask the MSM or an average person, we are not only not going to do anything, we aren’t going to even TALK about it. We can’t manage to even discuss this murderous misogyny in our midst. And women keep getting killed for being born women.

And what about the women whose femaleness intersects with other oppressed identities?

They die in larger numbers. And their killers are rarely found.

Indigenous WomenThe over 400 poor women in Cuidad Juárez.

The hundreds of indigenous women in Canada and America.

So when can we talk about this? In America, in North America, globally? We hear the phrase “gender-based violence” applied once and awhile to “other” countries. Can we learn from activists in Papua New Guinea and the Congo and name our problem? Can we admit that this problem, which we like to assign to those “other” countries in order to assert our superior enlightenedness, exists in our own front yard?

If we can’t name the problem, how can we solve it? The claim that it is “obvious” that men commit more crime because they are naturally more violent, and therefore there is no point in discussing the obvious… well that claim I find more than dubious. I consider it an acceptance of the status quo. And the status quo is lost lives, and women killed because they were born female.

Male violence, as indicated by the numbers mentioned above, arguably affects more male victims even than female victims, if you go by sheer numbers. It sounds like women AND men could benefit from a big discussion of male violence. Everyone benefits. Or so it seems, because if EVERYONE benefited there would be no obstacle to discussion. Who benefits?

Powerful men. Men with political power, men with money, men with capital. They benefit from male power-over, and any male power-over cannot exist without violence against those who are under this power. Because those without power will always struggle for equality, and that struggle must always be put down.

Powerful men benefit. The vast majority of people suffer. Where do you stand? Are you ready to talk?

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